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A young person with dark hair stands in front of a group of fashion mannequins. Wearing a black jumper, they hold a brightly coloured tote bag, which features swirls of blue, purple and red
Image: Martin Shields

A young Scot designs charity tote with John Lewis to “represent the brilliance of care experienced people”

Posted 19.01.24 by Alice Hinds

A care experienced student from Glasgow has designed a new charity tote bag in partnership with retailer John Lewis, helping to raise vital funds while also inspiring young people in the care system to discover their talent.

Selected by Who Cares? Scotland (click here for more) as an individual with bags of potential, 18-year-old Michael Archibald was given the opportunity to work with the in-house design team at Saatchi & Saatchi as part of the retailer’s Building Happier Futures programme, which recruits people with care experience to work in its department stores.

The first item in a new range of products the retailer says will create more opportunities for designers with care experience, profits from sales of Michael’s bold and stylish bag – available for just £12 – will go to Action for Children, Home-Start UK, and Who Cares? Scotland.

Discussing the inspiration behind the bag, Michael said: “The stars on the bag represent the brilliance of care experienced people, and the surrounding clouds depict the love, care and respect these individuals need.

“Creative industries are such a competitive field and being given the chance to create a product that is actually my own design – and see it physically in store – is an amazing experience. It’s made me feel like I’m able to go places.”

Queralt Ferrer, John Lewis' Director of Design for Fashion, added: “We set out to design a tote bag, but beyond that, our brief to Michael was very open. We could see he has a keen eye for aesthetics, and the ability to create authentic and captivating designs.”

In 2023, the Building Happier Futures (click here for more) programme generated £1.1million for care experience charities, including supporting Who Cares? Scotland to hold events for 880 people.

Trustees Week: an interview with Jude Turbyne

7 November 2022

As part of a series of Q&As to mark Trustees Week, we hear from Children in Scotland’s Chief Executive about being a board member of the Corra Foundation – and what she’s learnt from the experience

Name: Jude Turbyne

Current ‘day’ job: CEO of Children in Scotland

Charity that you’re a trustee of: Corra Foundation

Role: Deputy Chair and Chair of the Audit Committee

Length of time on the board: Since 2018 – coming up for four years.

Why did you become a trustee?

I am very passionate about trying to have a positive impact in the world. Since I was a child, I couldn’t understand how we could allow our world to be so unequal and to have such distressing levels of poverty. Since leaving university, I have volunteered for, worked for and studied the charity sector and have seen the difference committed individuals and organisations can make. I very much believe in what the Corra Foundation is doing and wanted to play my part by putting myself forward as a trustee.

What’s the best thing about it?

I love the Corra Foundation – what it stands for and how it does what it does. It is also a very reflective and learning organisation. The board is a space where there is the opportunity for healthy and interesting discussions on a whole range of topics. But perhaps my very favourite thing is the people I get to work with.

The trustees come from a variety of different professional and personal backgrounds and bring different perspectives to our discussions. It has been a happy, intellectually challenging and constructive place to be. I like the feeling of that collective responsibility – finding ways of coming to a shared conclusion even if we don’t all agree 100%.

What kind of challenges has the charity faced that you’ve been able to help with?

The charity has been going through a period of change. During my time a new strategic plan has been developed, and I feel I have been able to contribute in a small way to the direction of the organisation.

How does being a trustee support your own personal or professional development?

I suppose, for me, I feel that being a trustee is something that I now have a moral duty to do. The charity sector has supported me as a volunteer and as a worker. I have had an amazing and interesting life, and I have felt part of a movement that is much bigger than me. So I want to give back.

But I have also experienced a lot of development through being a trustee. It has helped me develop a really good understanding of what good governance looks like in action and has contributed to my learning around some of the key issues that the Corra Foundation works on. In fact, I feel as if I learn something every time I sit around the board table. It is properly fulfilling.

About the interviewee

Jude Turbyne joined Children in Scotland as Chief Executive in August 2021

Click here for more

Corra Foundation

Corra works to strengthen and amplify people’s voices and their power to make change

Click here for more

Podcast: equal partners

Listen to our recent discussion of the strategic importance of young trustees

Click here for more

Trustees Week

Celebrating achievements and opportunities to connect, train, learn and develop

Click here for more
A man in a suit stands on a stage accepting an award

News: S.M.I.L.E Counselling named Charity of the Year

Posted 17 June, 2022 by Jennifer Drummond. Photo: Declan Harrigan, CEO of S.M.I.L.E Counselling at the Scottish Charity Awards 2022. 

The West Lothian-based counselling service scooped the prestigious prize at the Scottish Charity Awards 2022.

The annual event, run by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), celebrates the very best of the Scottish charitable sector.

Eight categories recognise campaigning, pioneering projects, climate conscious activity and digital success as well as employees, volunteers and trustees.  Each of these categories are decided by a judging panel with a ninth category, the People’s Choice Award, voted for by the public.

S.M.I.L.E Counselling, which provides free counselling to 11-24 year olds took home the top-billed prize of Charity of the Year.

Established in 2015 the organisation has helped more than 1,000 individuals and a further 2,500 in a group setting, delivering more than 7,000 counselling hours.

Commenting on the win, Declan Harrigan, Founder and CEO said:

“We were shocked and overwhelmed to win Scottish Charity of the Year 2022. We graciously accept the award not only on behalf of our staff, volunteers, and trustees but on behalf of all our clients, students and participants who all encompass S.M.I.L.E services.

"This award, to us, indicates a recognition of the truly demanding but rewarding work we are involved in. Recognising our amazing team and their willingness to go that extra mile to do what is needed for their clients.

"Our vision has always been to replicate what we have done in West Lothian over the last seven years in other counties and this will be part of our future plans. No child should be left behind or without support, if this award shines a brighter light on the need for additional services for mental health in children services, then this can only be positive."

Other charities recognised on the night include Leuchie House, Coatbridge Citizens Advice Bureau, Feldyroo, Scottish Families Affected by Drugs and Alcohol, Sustainable Thinking Scotland, Simon Community Scotland and Fare Scotland and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland who won the People’s Choice Award.

Click here for a full list of winners


A photo of Christmas gifts wrapped up and surrounded by tinsel

News: Christmas gifting charity struggling to meet demand

Posted 1 December, 2021 by Jennifer Drummond

A Fife charity is calling for help to meet the needs of families this Christmas.

The Gift of Christmas Appeal Fife works to ensure every child has a gift to open on Christmas Day. However, the charity has taken to social media to urge more support, posting pictures of their warehouse, usually full of toys for vulnerable families, still nearly empty.

With only 12 days remaining to accept donations, a spokesperson for the Appeal told Children in Scotland:

“We have received some fabulous donations so far and the public are as usual very generous.

“But this year, we have more applications than ever, around 1,300, and donations have been slower than usual so far. We are really hoping this will pick up before all drop off points soon close.”

Working with volunteers, Trustees and Lloyds banking group, the gifts bought or donated to the appeal go to children and young people aged 0-18 across Fife who otherwise may have nothing to open on Christmas morning.

Children and young people are referred to the service by professionals who have identified them and their families as being in need of assistance at Christmas. Children who receive gifts from the Appeal are likely to be experiencing poverty and deprivation and some may be dealing with other issues such as domestic abuse, neglect, and mental health issues.

On average the charity provides gift bags to 1,000 children and young people across the Kingdom each year.

Gifts for families can be purchased via the Gift of Christmas Appeal Fife Amazon Wish Lists, or donated via one of 60 drop-off points across Fife.

All donations must be made by 12 December, 2021.

Click here to find out more about the Appeal and information on how to donate

Logo for 'wee seeds' - a green oval icon with eyes and smile, with blue text that says 'wee seeds' at the bottom

News: Early years mindfulness venture receives financial boost

Posted 9 November 2021 by Jennifer Drummond

An Edinburgh-based early years mindfulness enterprise has been chosen to receive support from Big Issue Invest’s Power Up Scotland scheme.

Along with seven other Scottish ventures, Wee Seeds will receive backing through investment, business support and assistance with partnership-building for long-term success.

Wee Seeds exists to bring mediation and mindfulness to the early years and promote positive mental health from a young age, delivering tools to help parents and professionals plant the seeds of positive mental wellbeing in the early years.

Power Up Scotland is funded by partners abdrn, University of Edinburgh, Experian, Places for People and the Scottish Government. Legal support is provided by Brodies LLP.

Successful applicants receive mentoring and business development support, with an opportunity to pitch for long-term funding to create a sustainable future.

Speaking about the financial award, Wee Seeds founder Christina Cran said:

“We’ve laid the groundwork and so we’re delighted to have the support of Power Up Scotland to help us plant solid roots for the future to deliver mindfulness for all, especially post-Covid when we know many of our young people faced challenges that took a toll on their mental health.”

Big Issue Invest CEO Danyal Sattar said:

“It is challenging as a social venture to secure early-stage funding. We are therefore so pleased, working with our brilliant partners in Scotland, to be able to support these organisations with the investment and business development expertise that they need in order to make an even greater difference.

“We are incredibly excited about working with this year’s Power Up Scotland applicants.”

Wee Seeds joins Ayrshire Women’s Hub, Bikes for Refugees, Brave Strong Beautiful, Coffee+Clay, Common Ground Against Homelessness, Lochend Football Academy and MyPickle as this year's recipients.

The social venture recently launched a new website and course, following successful trials with parents and nursery staff.

It has also launched trials of its social impact programme to ensure mindfulness for all, by working with other organisations to provide resources to families who need them.

Click here to find out more about Wee Seeds

Click here to find out more about the Power Up Scotland scheme

Wee Seeds featured in Issue 201 of Children in Scotland magazine, highlighting how their mindfulness toolkit could improve focus, sleep and bring calm. Click here to download

Boy with blond hair playing in the snow with his arms outstretched
Image: Catherine Bromley

News: Charity launches appeal to support families this winter

Posted 3 November, 2021 by Jennifer Drummond

Fife Gingerbread has launched its annual ‘Heat & Eat’ appeal, to help families across the Kingdom keep fed and warm this winter

The charity, which supports and empowers lone parents across Fife, will use the money raised to ensure that vulnerable families are supported during the cold winter months, and throughout the year. This includes providing crisis support when needed, facilitating group sessions, feeding families, creating fun learning opportunities and providing support with travel costs. All of the money raised will be used to directly benefit the families accessing support.

The annual appeal will also specifically help to provide a Festive Package, which can include toys, food or fuel, and ensure those in low income households have a magical Christmas.

Last year, Fife Gingerbread supported 114 families (including 212 children and young people) to have a safe and warm Christmas. They shared some of the donations received with other local organisations including Fife Women’s Aid, Methilhill Children Community Initiative and Fife Migrants Forum.

Click here to find out more about Fife Gingerbread